Abstract

In all carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) projects, monitoring, verification, and accounting is required to span short to long periods to ensure plume extents and geologic integrity meet operational and regulatory objectives. Fiber-optic cables permanently deployed in the completions of injector wells enable time-lapse (4D) vertical seismic profile (VSP) imaging using distributed acoustic sensing (DAS). Most CCUS projects are onshore, and the majority of those utilize supercritical CO2 flooding for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). In these cases, fiber-optic installations, acquisition, and analysis are relatively straightforward. Offshore transport and storage projects, whether for EOR or sequestration in saline aquifers, may utilize subsea wells wherein fiber-optic deployment is not as straightforward. Unlike dry-tree wells, DAS of subsea wells requires advanced optical engineering solutions to compensate for the reduced acoustic bandwidth, optical losses, and back reflections accumulated through umbilicals, multiple wet- and dry-mate optical connectors, splices, optical feedthrough systems, and downhole fibers. In this paper, we simulate VSP shot records of a carbon storage site for a variety of proposed subsea DAS concepts and evaluate the 3D and 4D seismic image quality of each using Kirchhoff migration of upgoing seismic wavefields with their expected signal-to-noise ratios. We normalize interrogator performance, so we are evaluating the sensing topology only. We show that a subsea fiber topology consisting of dual transmission fibers, a remote circulator with selective amplification of the backscattered light, and enhanced backscatter sensing fiber results in high-quality seismic images suitable for both 3D and 4D VSPs of carbon storage.

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